Prompt 1, Water
Gordon climbed from the Firefly, pulling off his heat suit’s helmet. He was covered in sweat; it dripped through his ginger hair, plastering it to his head.
“Here.” Virgil handed over a water bottle, the clear plastic covered in condensation.
“Thanks.” Gordon held the bottle to his forehead, his eyes closing at the delicious sensation of cool on hot. He lowered, then opened it, gulping half the water down, pouring the rest on himself. He shook his head sharply, sighing contentedly as it coursed, refreshing, over scalp and face.
Virgil chuckled. “Can’t you wait for the pool?”
“No,” Gordon replied.
Late Night Snack
Prompt 2, Milk
Scott’s stomach rumbled as he rummaged around in the refrigerator.
“Grandma’s apple pie,” he murmured. “Just the thing.”
He cut a goodly wedge, slipping it into the warmer, returning the rest to the fridge. The pie smelled delicious, and his mouth watered at the aroma.
Suddenly the light went on. “Scott Tracy! What are you doing?”
“Just getting a late night snack, Grandma,” he sheepishly admitted.
“Sit down.” She took out the warmed pie, set it down before him, then poured a glass of milk. “Can’t have pie without milk,” she said firmly.
He smiled. “You’re so right, Grandma. Thanks.”
It Ain’t Beer
Author’s note: Scene from Danger At Ocean Deep, Parker’s POV. From my research, what Americans call ale, the British call beer; what Yanks call beer, the Brits call lager. However, as Parker says, what he’s drinking “ain’t beer”. Published 7/21/2006.
Prompt 3, Ale
At first he couldn’t understand the fuss. It ain’t beer, he thought as he poured it, it’s too thin. How strong can it be? Why, I can down four pints at my local and not get plastered. Yet now his head was swimming and his speech was slurred. I’ve only had a couple!
His compatriot lifted his tankard of champagne, saying, “A toast, Parker, to Lady Penny-lope Creighton-Ward.”
Penny-lope? Bloody twit! I’ll have a sharp word with him later… maybe more. He lifted his own glass, slurring, “A toast, Stephens! A toast to one of England’s fairest – hic! – roses.”
Author’s note: The business about the Tracys’ singing talent – or lack of it – comes from Give Or Take A Million. Published 10/9/2006.
Prompt 4, Egg Nog
“More eggnog, Mr. John?”
“Thanks, Kyrano.” John held out his punch cup, the sides already milky tinted with his first – and second – helpings. The retainer carefully refilled it with the thick, creamy mixture.
“Better go easy on that, son,” Jeff observed, holding out his own cup for another libation. “It’s strong this year.”
“Just what I need, Dad.” John sipped his drink. “Have to fortify myself for Grandma’s yearly request.”
Jeff’s silvered eyebrows arched upward. “Ah. Then I’d better make sure your brothers are well ‘fortified’, too. Maybe you’ll all sing in tune.”
John grinned. “Don’t count on it, Dad.”
Hair Of The Dog
Author’s note: A possible aftermath of the boys’ visit to the Follies in The Perils of Penelope. Published 10/11/2006.)
Prompt 5, Vegetable juice
“What is that?” Bleary-eyed, Gordon regarded his drink with suspicion.
“Good fer wot ails ye, Mr. Gordon.” Parker set another glass, full of a thick red mixture, before Virgil. “My h’own receipt.”
Scott pulled the celery stalk from his drink, glancing at Parker. “Do I want to know what’s in it?”
Parker thought about this, then shook his head. “Jus’ trust me ‘ere, Mr. Scott. Ye’ll feel better once ye drink h’it.”
Virgil picked up his glass, holding it out. “To the Follies. A night of true enjoyment.”
“The Follies,” his brothers echoed, clinking glasses.
“Bottoms h’up,” Parker added.